Richmond Hill

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Below is some general information about Richmond Hill:

Richmond Hill is a city in Bryan County, Georgia, United States. The population was 6,959 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Savannah Metropolitan Statistical Area.

In some respects, it might be helpful to differentiate between Richmond Hill city proper and the larger South Bryan County area. A large percentage of South Bryan residents live outside the city limits of Richmond Hill, especially in a number of planned developments east of the city along S.R. 144. This area contains large amounts of marsh and riverfront property, Fort McAllister Historic Park, and the small community of Keller. Geographically, it is significantly larger than the municipal limits of Richmond Hill itself. However, the area contains no schools and few businesses or other public accommodations. As a result, residents of the entire South Bryan area rely on Richmond Hill proper for basic services, and must travel through the city to leave Bryan County, especially when commuting to Savannah, Georgia via U.S. 17 or I-95. Most South Bryan residents, especially the large percentage of relative newcomers, would likely say they were from Richmond Hill.

Richmond Hill has a historical connection to industrialist Henry Ford. Ford used the town, formerly known as Ways Station, as a winter home, and philanthropic social experiment, building the complex known as the Ford Farms along the Ogeechee River in the 1930s. After just one visit he chose this area as his Winter Home. Ford’s dwelling was built on the site of Richmond Plantation, which was burned by elements of General William T. Sherman’s army at the conclusion of the March to the Sea. Ford’s holdings eventually totaled 85,000 acres of agricultural and timber lands, most of which is now owned by the State of Georgia or ITT Rayonier, a timber company. Ford was also responsible for the construction of a number of public buildings, including a kindergarten, which now houses the museum of the Richmond Hill Historical Society, and a chapel which now houses St. Anne’s Catholic Church. Both are located on Georgia S.R. 144, also known as Ford Avenue within the Richmond Hill city limits. The Ford Plantation has now been redeveloped as a luxury resort, with vacation cottages, a clubhouse, tennis, and golf. When it was suggested that the town be renamed with “Ford”, Mr. Ford declined and instead Ways Station was renamed “Richmond Hill” after the site of Ford’s home on the banks of the Ogeechee River.

Richmond Hill was incorporated in March 1962. The current Mayor is Harold Fowler, who took office in 2009. Previously, Richard Davis, served in that capacity since 1989. The city is governed by a mayor and a four member city council. See the official website below for more details. Richmond Hill was the location of the discovery in 2004 of Benjaman Kyle, a man who suffers from retrograde amnesia as a result of a severe beating. He cannot remember who he is. As of June 2009, he remains unidentified.

Richmond Hill hosts a number of community events at J.F. Gregory Park. Throughout the year the community comes together for supporting special events and causes, here are just a few: Annual Easter Extravaganza, Annual Memorial Day Observance, National Night Out, Old Time Family 4 July Festival & Fireworks, Annual Pumpkin Patch, Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival-35k attendees, Annual Veterans Day Observance, Matt Freeman Road Race, and the Annual Chili Cook-off. Richmond Hill is home to over 20 churches of all denominations. Many of these organizations participate cooperatively in outreach programs that benefit the community as a whole. The Soup Kitchen based out of the Richmond Hill United Methodist Church’s kitchen and manned by ten separate churches rotating on a weekly basis, delivers over 350 hot meals to families in need within Richmond Hill. The Way Station, another multiple church outreach program, has been in operation for over twenty years providing food, clothing, and other items that enhance the lives of families in the community.

Source: Richmond Hill on Wikipedia